Deploying SwiftStack Object Storage for OpenStack Glance and

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    Deploying SwiftStack Object

    Storage for OpenStack Glance and

    Cinder Backups

    February 2015

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    Table of Contents

    Table of Contents


    What is Swift and SwiftStack?

    Where do I use it?


    Using SwiftStack for Glance

    Using SwiftStack for Cinder Backups

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    What is Swift and SwiftStack?

    As its name implies, OpenStack Swift is a key part of the OpenStack community, and as a founding

    project, it has been tightly integrated in small to massive clouds from the early days of OpenStack.

    Swift provides durable and scalable object storage (for unstructured data) alongside Cinder block

    storage (for virtual machines), yet as well-proven and reliable as Swift isand there are hundreds and

    hundreds of petabytes of Swift deployed in public and private clouds around the world, the tasks and

    integrations necessary to deploy, manage, and monitor itespecially at a large scaleare tedious and

    complicated. Fortunately, SwiftStackthe leading contributor to the open-source Swift project in

    OpenStackhas developed incredibly simple-to-deploy, simple-to-manage, and simple-to-monitor

    controller software for OpenStack Swift (you might say, SwiftStack makes Swift enterprise-ready).

    With SwiftStacks software, you can have Swift object storage ready to use in minutes, and you get

    OpenStack Swift plus simple management software, enterprise integration tools (e.g., LDAP and AD

    authentication, Nagios plugin), and support from the worlds recognized Swift experts.

    Where do I use it?

    SwiftStack object storage is typically used in three ways in OpenStack deployments:

    1. Glance virtual machine images: The OpenStack Glance service can store its virtual machine

    image files in Swift object storage.

    2. Cinder volume backups: The OpenStack Cinder service can be configured to backup its block

    storage volumes to Swift object storage.

    3. Native application storage: With the exponentially increasing growth of unstructured data,

    modern application developers are rapidly developing against the Swift API to give their

    applications access to massively scalable and geographically distributed Swift object storage


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    This document describes the steps necessary to point Glance and Cinder backups in a simple

    OpenStack environment to use a SwiftStack object storage system.


    For the purposes of this document, OpenStack was deployed using DevStack on a single virtual

    machine, and three SwiftStack storage nodes were deployed as virtual machines as well. This is

    acceptable for a test and development environment, but please note that production deployments of

    both OpenStack and SwiftStack run on bare-metal hardware and typically include many (tens to

    thousands) of nodes. Refer to the DevStack and SwiftStack documentation for initial installation

    instructions. Except where noted, the steps described here apply to both a small test/dev environment

    and to a massive cloud deployment. In addition, a Cinder backend was preconfigured for OpenStack to

    use when creating volumes.

    Using SwiftStack for Glance The Glance service in OpenStack primarily provides images from which virtual machines can boot. By

    default, these images are stored in local storage, but Glance can be easily redirected to utilize a Swift

    object storage cluster instead.

    Basic configuration is simple, and details are included in the OpenStack Glance documentation:

    Specifically, in the glance-api.conf file edit the default_store and stores lines as shown here:

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    In the same file, edit swift_store_auth_version, swift_store_auth_address,

    swift_store_user, and swift_store_key; details for these and other parameters are

    included in the documentation:

    Note, the authentication address for the Swift cluster can be found in the SwiftStack console:

    After saving the changes in glance-api.conf, restart the glance-api service. In DevStack, that is done by

    killing and restarting the g-api screen. Then, test the integration by creating a new image and verifying

    it is successfully stored in Swift:

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    Using SwiftStack for Cinder Backups The Cinder service in OpenStack provides block storage most often used for virtual machines. To back

    up those volumes, a Cinder backup service is available that can be configured to utilize Swift object

    storage to store those backup files.

    Basic configuration is simple, and details are included in the OpenStack Glance documentation:

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    In order to use the Cinder backup service, you must enable the service. In DevStack, that is done by

    adding enable_service c-bak to ~/devstack/localrc and rerunning the script.

    To configure the backup service, add the following items to /etc/cinder/cinder.conf as in the following








    With those changes saved, restart the Cinder backup service, and use commands like the following:

    cinder service-list

    cinder list

    cinder backup-create

    cinder backup-list

    cinder backup-show

    cinder backup-restore

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    To test the integration, perform a backup, and verify that the backup is populated in the

    volumebackups container on SwiftStack: